Getting it Right: Unique Pitch, Flawless Execution

Adding a media relations plan to your communications program makes sense. Almost certainly, it will cost less than advertising and will probably do a better job in shaping what the public thinks about you and what you mean to them.

But hold off on blasting your news release to every media contact that you’ve acquired. Most reporters don’t want to hear from you, unless you’ve taken the time to figure out how your story fits into their world.

Reporters are strongly focused on their own audiences. They evaluate each new story idea for its value in that audience relationship. If the story won’t interest their viewers or readers, they just won’t pick it up.

You need to market your story the same way you’d market a new product. Do the research: Which media are in your target market? How do they benefit if they buy your story idea?

Review what they have covered in the past. If they haven’t shown any interest in your issue, don’t call. But if they have, then go ahead and contact them with an offer that you have customized to them, and only them.

Just as in direct marketing, fulfillment is everything.

Once a reporter asks for more information or better yet an interview, you need to deliver then and there. You need a message that you have prepared ahead of time, a spokesperson who can deliver it credibly, and a set of answers that you have developed for all the questions you can anticipate ahead of the interview.